Deborah Ross interviewed Naomi Harris Rosenblatt on December 31, 2010 in Washington, D.C. as part of the Jewish Womenâs Archive "Weaving Women's Words" project.
Naomi Harris Rosenblatt has had a distinguished career in Washington, D.C. as a psychotherapist and Bible teacher. Born in Haifa, she lived in Palestine during the time of the British Mandate and witnessed first hand the birth of the state of Israel. After her marriage, she moved to the United States, which has been her home ever since. Naomiâs identity as a Jew was formed during the historic and tumultuous years of World War II and the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. Naomi traces her twin interests, in Bible and psychotherapy, to her upbringing. In her interview, she discusses how these two seemingly disparate subjects are closely intertwined. Naomi also talks about the Bible study class for Senators and Congressman that she taught for many years on Capitol Hill. She reflects on her concern for the future of the Jewish people, and her hope that more Jews will learn their history from the Bible and its protagonists, and that this will lead to a stronger identification with and pride in being Jewish.
During 2010 and 2011, Deborah Ross decided to interview a number of Jewish women living and working in and around Washington, D.C. Having lived in the area for over three decades, she wondered how these womenâmany of them the firsts in their fields, all of them distinguishedâunderstood their Jewish identity. "In other words," she wrote, "not, 'What makes us Jewish?' but 'What does being Jewish make us'"? Over a year's time, working as a volunteer, she interviewed nine women on video.
The complete video recordings and transcripts of the interviews are available on the Internet Archive. To see the online exhibit based on this project, visit Jewish Women's Archive/DC stories